More than 100,000 get married in Vegas every single year. There is something quite magical about getting away from it all and eloping on your own terms! That’s exactly what photographer Bethan wanted when she and her husband John decided to renew their vows. They wanted to have the day just for them and the only person they brought with them was their wedding photographer, Lisa Jane.
The couple met at 18, when they were both at the same university and have been together ever since. “That first year of university, and every year that has passed since, has been pretty damn awesome”, Bethan told me. “In fact 16 years of adventures and good times have passed and John and I live one of those sickly true love story things but neither of us are embarrassed to shout about it.”
“Our 16th anniversary might seem like an odd year to celebrate in style but the truth be told the year before that been just a little crazy. Renovating our house, putting our heart and souls into our business and just about managing to remind our friends and family that we existed, so we didn’t get a chance to do much at all that year. We had a wonderful wedding six years ago, a brilliant day filled with loved ones and partying, but it passed so quickly. I wouldn’t change a thing about our actual wedding day, and I am from a very close family, but when we decided to renew our vows, we thought it would be fitting for it to just be us. No distractions, no worrying of people were having a good time, just all about me and my boy and our love for each other. It felt a little self indulgent at first but sometimes there is nothing wrong with a little selfishness and celebrating how much you blooming love each other.”
If someone were to ask me to list all of my favourite things, nearly everything in this wedding would feature: cats, tattoos, Disney, ears, pink, 80s tunes, glitter… I mean goodness, what’s not to love?! The wedding was held at Union/Pine in Portland, in December.
“Early on in the planning process we struggled with whether we needed a theme or not”, explained Lacey. “Ultimately we decided that the theme should be ‘us’ and the decisions came much easier after that. We didn’t feel any pressure to choose things that would fit snuggly in to a strict theme. Instead our ‘us’ theme meant that we included any and all of the things that make us happy including Disneyland, Elvis, our loved ones, tattoos, sprinkles, our favorite cocktails, photobooths, our cats, hearts, zombies, incredible food, 80s music, balloons, confetti, sparklers and so much more.”
Being a wedding photographer herself, there was one big thing at the top of Kerry‘s wedding must-have list – a great photographer of course! They picked Sally T for the job and they all flew out from the UK together. They ceremony was held at the Chapel of the Flowers and was officiated by – who else – Elvis! They didn’t have a formal reception but just partied out and around Freemont Street.
“Well you don’t get more Rock n Roll than Elvis!” laughed Kerry. “The whole day was just crazy from start to finish. Me and Rob met up and had a first look before the actual wedding in the middle of a casino. Then we went off around Vegas for some couple portraits with Sally. This was loads of fun and took the pressure off massively! By the time we were making our way to the chapel it felt like we were going as a team.”
Jakob and Zoey were married in Melbourne in November. Their reception was at Thornbury Bowls Club. The whole day was a really casual affair. The bride and her bridesmaids all wore vintage dresses and the whole day had a 1950s vibe. They were even married by Elvis!
“The wedding theme was based on 1950s style, with a modern edge”, began the bride. “Records and music from this era were a focus, with an Elvis celebrant and 45s presented on each table at the reception venue. The bridal party wore original 1950s dresses and the car was a 1950s black Cadillac. The best man and groomsmen wore classic, 2-piece black dinner suits inspired by James Bond.”
Amy and Steve got engaged while on a road trip around America and so an American themed wedding seemed like the most perfect option for them! These guys didn’t go for a subtle homage though, they went all out! “Our wedding was a little slice of American pie”, Amy began. “We got engaged two years ago on a road trip around the southern states of America. Steve got down on one knee over a BBQ of ribs and beer in the mountains of Virginia. It was the perfect setting and was amongst many aspects of that trip that made it one of our most memorable journeys together.”
“We decided we wanted our guests to experience a little taste of the ‘deep south’ for the wedding so they know why we loved it so much. At first we planned to introduce little subtle touches inspired by America but by the end of the planning we’d got so carried away that it was pretty much a full blown USA theme with flags and stars and stripes galore!”
When I get wedding submissions like Nathan & Laura’s I’m literally bursting at the seams to get them published. So sometimes I sneakily share a picture or two on my facebook page. The shot I shared of Nathan’s reaction when seeing his bride walking down the aisle totally encompassed this awesome wedding. And it would appear you guys loved it too – over 200 likes and I didn’t even show you the stunning bride! Well the wait is over my friends, I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth it and that his face was 100% justified. Just look at her!
After proposing with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo (!) the couple got to planning their wedding for earlier this month. The celebration was held at Penybanc Farm, hosted by Welsh Green Weddings, and the relaxed vibe of the farm really set the tone for the whole day.
“We had a marquee which was put up by made by Roger, Simone and team at Welsh Green Weddings“, the couple explained. “We then added our own personal touches including bunting made by the Mother of the bride and hearts on line made by both our Mothers and the groom’s daughters. Our wishing tree was made by the Mother of the bride and the cake stand was made by Laura. We had individual homemade ‘plant pot’ cakes too. We had tea cups and saucers for favours which we collected from car boots and charity shops. The bridal bouquet was made out of of vintage buttons and featured items from both our grandmothers, Edelweiss (Austrian relatives) and the Father of the bride’s numbers from his police uniform. As Nathan proposed to Laura with a ‘Laura will you marry me?’ tattoo, we also had temporary tattoos as favours and both of us had our own ‘secret tattoos’ on the day.”
“Think about the kind of people you are and who you are going to invite” the couple advised when I asked them what influenced their wedding, “in our case we knew that around a third of the guests would be under 12, so a venue where children and their parents could feel relaxed and excited was important to us. Being true to your self is vital and having some sort of connection with the people running the venue as well as a faith in their professionalism helps enormously. For us, when we went to see Simone and Roger at Pennybanc we knew we were on the same wavelength.”
“A professional photographer is also totally worth the money” they continued. “The married couples we spoke to who hadn’t had one said it was their only regret from their own weddings. If you can, budget with them at the centre and book them early on. Nicola from Daffodil Waves Photography was amazing.”
“Don’t get too hung up on being original”, they concluded. “Wedding blogs and magazines are great to help you think about things and give inspiration, but they can also be intimidating and make you feel that your ideas are ‘old hat’. It ebbs and flows so don’t compete. We both like Elvis and vintage style so it was inevitably going to feature in the music and look of the day, but we didn’t want it to be to ‘themed’. We wanted to have a structure to the day but it also had to have enough flexibility in it to to deal with overruns and the unexpected…and we wanted unexpected things to happen!”